Effects of Frequency and Vocabulary Type on Phonological Speech Errors

Gary S. Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phonological speech errors only rarely occur in common function words. This paper explores whether this effect is due to these words’ status as function (closed-class) morphemes, or simply their high frequency of usage. Experiments that elicit phonological speech errors revealed strong requency effects (the segments of frequent words tend not to be misordered) and no effect of vocabulary type—the segments of function morphemes (e.g. by) were as likely to slip as those of homophonic content items (e.g. buy). A spreading-activation model of lexical retrieval in production was adapted to account for the effects of frequency on phonological errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-349
Number of pages37
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Frequency and Vocabulary Type on Phonological Speech Errors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this